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"the situation room" starts right now. wolf? we're only moments from now of a critical reporter expected to take place on the republican plan to raise the de debt ceiling. we'll have complete analysis. stand by. plus, can republicans actually get the votes to pass the proposal? ahead, the stunning proposal. and with only four days left to solve this dire, political crisis, many are asking, where is the president of the united states? i'll ask his cheef of staff, bill daley in an exclusive interview. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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you're looking at live pictures right now in the house floor, where just moments from now a vote is scheduled on republican house speaker john boehner's plan to avoid unprecedented default. but the bill which needs 216 votes to pass is facing fierce new backlash inside the party. if it does pass, it immediately goes to the senate for a vote where harry reid essentially says it's dead on arrival. meanwhile, ceos at the biggest banks have their own warnings. fix this now or there will be grave, in their words, consequences for all of us. kate bolduan is standing by live on capitol hill with the latest. that vote getting ready pretty soon, right? >> reporter: pretty soon. house republican leaders have been working hard all day loin to secure the votes they need to
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pass. house speaker john boehner's debt ceiling bill. a a sign of how close this vote might actually be. boehner has been holding one-on-one meetings in this lobbying effort, trying to -- at the very same time, democrats are trying to equally as hard present a unanimous position. >> there will in fact be bipartisan opposition to this big, but there, i predict, will be no democrat for this bill so because bipartisanship was not sought. i'm a diely concerned it would
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pus us right back on the praecipe of imminent default in just a few months, casting a pall of uncertainty. and leading to a job-destroying credit downgrade. >> i urge my colleagues in the name of sanity and in the name of ensuring in a we pass this measure and we send it to our colleagues in the united states senate. >> here areas a quick reality check if this bill passes the house, it's going to hit a big roadblock in the senate. senate democratic caucus, every member of that caucus has signed onto a letter say they will oppose the bill, and senate
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majority leader harry reid announced today they will quickly take up the bill in the senate this evening, but only to table the measure, a vote to table the measure effectively just setting it aside. that doesn't mean think couldn't take it back up if they wanted to, but it's a quick way legislative for democrats to show there is not enough support for this big to pass the senate. it brings us back, what is the way out of this stalemate? where is the compromise? it does not seem like we have found the answer to that question. >> to table it they just need a simple majority. >> reporter: that's right. >> and there's 51 democrats, two independents who caucus with the democrats, that's 53 right there. all right. thanks very much, kate, don't go too far away. many are wondering what's happening inside the white house. we just got an exclusive look.
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>> william daley, thanks for joining us. what's the president been doing? >> he's been meeting with advisers and talking to people on the hill. he has a lot of other things he does, security briefings, terrorism briefings, meeting with the secretary of the treasury later on today. he's fully engaged and the staff is fully engaged, but there's many other things that the president has to do in addition to making sure that the economy improves i. and the debate in washington doesn't dominate and -- >> is he speaking to the speaker of the house? >> he has not spoken to the speaker in a few days. the truth is it looks as though the speaker is rather engaged in getting the votes for his bill. when that's put aside this evening after it's assumed passed in the house, i assume, and defeated in the senate and
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there will be a whole new stage of the senate and house having to come together to avoid august 2nd as being a day that's never happened in the u.s., where we wouldn't back up the full faith and credit of the united states. >> after the house does its thing today, and the senate does its thing today or tomorrow, at that point the president brings everyone together? >> i think we will consult with the leaders at that point to what their plans are and how they plan -- remember, it is congress's obligation under the statutes to extend the debt ceiling if we're in this situation, not one house can jam the other house there's there's a desire for compromise, then congress will not act. that will be the first time in history of the united states. >> everybody seems -- a lot of people are looking to the president to get this done.
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let me read a line from numbs number of times -- having already deployed the heavy weapons from the presidential arsenal, mr. obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency. >> i think that's totally unwarranted. he's been fully engaged for month on the need to lower the debt. the debt ceiling is a vote that happens periodically, all of the leadership of both houses have voted for this under republican presidents, democratic presidents. the president has put a plan out there. he 'tried twice with speaker boehner to get a deal that didn't work. he's met with the leaders repeatedly. senator reid has a plan that the president has endorsed, a plan that meetings the obligations,
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just to say that is inaccurate. whoever the writer was it's unfortunate they felt that way. >> we will see the president more active involved? >> i don't know how you can get more active involved. he spoke to the american people, he called on the american people to reach out to the members of congress and say in a bipar san compromising way, solve the problem. again, it is the congress's obligation to do this, not the president's. obviously the president can encourage and if a bill comes to him, he has to act, but the fact is it's up to congress. we see the ability of one of the houses of the two to move to the center and present something that will be accepted. all right. all right 53 democrats, 51 democrats, two irchts, and 5 republicans have said they will not vote for the plan that the house will pass tonight. >> i want to to get to that,
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once they both pass something, then they have a conference and come up with a compromise. what do you, the chief of staff, doing directly to try to get this crisis resolved? >> i'm in constant conversation, as are many of our staff, with people on the hill. >> republicans, democrats. >> you have a good relationship with -- >> and so do many on our staff. >> who are are you talking to? >> i'm nothing going to go through that, but there seems to be a growing awareness and fear unless there is a compromise -- and that has become a dirty word in the last couple years in this toush -- we could face a zufrg that we've all known has been coming for a very long time. the congressional office says there is no plan they can score, because it's just a framework,
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just a speech. >> speaker boehner nose and congressman kantor knows the plan that they both worked on to bring the debt down and get past this debt ceiling. he does not have a legislative fix right now to this, because there's a bill in the house and a bill in the senate. he's endorsed senator reid's bill, he feels very strongly that the bill the house may pass tonight does not help the economy. what all of this should be about is not only trying to lower the debt, but get this cloud of uncertainty off our economy. the thought we would be back in the same thing in 4 1/2 months, in an economy that's in difficult shape with our without washington's craziness that goes on, it's just unfathomable. >> you're saying he did present a plan, but didn't make it public? >> no. both the speaker and the president agreed that these sort
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of negotiations do not happen in public. there's not a plan out there in the public realm, whether it's the commission, the gang of six, congressman ryan's plan -- ryan's plan lost overwhelmingly. so there's no plan out there by the people saying this that has any sort of chance of passing both houses and getting signed by the president. >> it seems the biggest difference between the reid planned an the boehner plan is this vote, another vote coming up in six months or whenever, as opposed to after the 2012 elections. is that the biggest difference you see right now, the one vote? >> i would say the time of action is the most important. >> thing thingz that holding back -- i talked to a ceo.
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he believes his business is being hurt by this uncertainty. to keep this going and have to deal with it in 4 1/2 months, before the end of the year and possibly before this committee act, the bipartisan commission, is just crazy. >> hoe do you overcome -- that sounds like the most significance. >> i think senator reid's plan, but not have a debt ceiling vote, a vote of disapproved, that was senator mcconnell's planned, it was a reasonable plan. >> do you have any reason to believe the republicans in the house will accept that proposal? >> it seems to me that after their plan get voted down by the senate tonight in a bipartisan way, i think at that point everybody's got to take a step back in the congress and look at where is a point of compromise?
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there are some things that are similar, and that similarity may be grounds for a deal that hypofully both bodies will pass. >> if it comes down to this issue, another vote or a default, you would go with a vote? >> it depends on how it's framed. neither gives the ability to vote on the plan that the president would put out, but it would not hold over the nation the debt korean vote once against, he would veto it -- >> it would be a vote of disapproved, assuming the congress would disapproved he plan, he would veto it, and the debt ceiling would be extended, again taking the cloud off the economy. all right. there's much more ahead on my exclusive interview with the white house chief of staff, bill
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daley, including why he fears the prized credit rating could still be at risk even if there's a deal within the next four days. plus the raging war of words going on inside the republican party. we're standing by. just ahead, why it's john mccain versus the tea party and new alleged attack on ft. hood thwarted. we'll have the latest on the private who is now in custody. [ melody ] the bar is raised for everybody in an ap class,
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jack cafferty is here now. >> it's clear who's losing -- the american people, big time. they have a right to expect so much more from the folks they voted into office. the losers include people whose lives could be affected and their checks don't go out in the mail. and let's not forget the reputation of the country as a whole. even if a deal is passed at the last minute, the credit rating could be downgraded, investors
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wondering if this is a good place. the folks on capitol hill don't seem to care much about who's losing. who might be winning here? the house is expected to vote anytime now on boehner's plan. boehner told reporters today the mesh will pass. tales party conservatives have been whining and stomping their feet say it won't do enough, but last-minute wrangling could get it through the house. that has house republicans feeling good about themselves. eric cantor told the senate do to accept the boehner bit or is the cut cap and balance bill or suffering the consequences of default. harry reid doesn't seem to care about any of that. he says the boehner bill is bed on arrival. the clock keeps ticking. where is president obama on this? who knows. for the last several days he's had no public schedule.
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he remains behind closed doors inside the white house, so inquiring minds want to know -- who is winning the debt ceiling battle? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my log. wolf? the ban isn't just between republicans and democrats. there's a serious one between republicans and republicans. jim acosta has the details. >> now this fight has gone hollywood. the good guys and bad guys, or the hobbits and orcs. >> he bothered a page from her, which are to accuse tea party members of engagesing in a fantasy they will somehow come
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out winners if the nation goes into default. >> the republican house which i would swoosh somehow escape the blame, then democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment, and the tea party hobbits could return to middle earth having defeated mordor. >> reporter: returning to his role as republican maverick, he read on. >> this is what turns sharron angle and christine o'donnell into gop senate nominees. >> the ring's zinger, ainged at two tea party favorites held up and lost were held up and considered overreach. but it was pointed out the arizona senator wubz courses yesterday up when he chose sarah palin. >> reporter: you haven't seen any hobbits? >> no. >> but john thune said that mccain was trying to make a
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point that conservatives have already won a major battle. >> i think the tea party and any conservative who wants to see this debate move forward and advance ought to look at where we have come from. we have made enormous stride. it's now reducing spending. >> i need your help. i can't tell you what it is. you can never ask me about it later, and we're going to hurt some people. >> reporter: there are signs that message is going through after they played the clip from "the town" to rally their forces some house tea party-backed freshmen are starting to get in line. >> is this as big as we wanted to go now? heck no. but this is the only proposal on the table that accomplishes the goals that we set out to do. >> reporter: that's because there is one line from "lord of the rings" that republicans don't want to here. >> you cannot pass!
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>> reporter: sorry, i couldn't resist. sarah palin did not respond, but she posted a message on her facebook page -- everyone i talk to still believes in contested primaries. we could not track down senator mccain. >> so she's basically threatening some of these freshmen, if you don't do what she likes there could be another -- >> just as speaker boehner is trying to get at those house republicans in line. >> good piece. >> thank you. we're standing by for a critical vote on the republican plan to raise the debt ceiling. you'll see it and here it live. >> mrs. part 2 of my exclusive interview with bill daley. mine was earned over the south pacific in 1943. vietnam, 1967.
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unlike fish oil, megared softgels are small and easy to swallow with no fishy smell or aftertaste. try megared today. all right. there are dramatic developments happening. we're getting indication from democratic house sources that
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the speaker still does not have enough votes, 216 votes in the house of representatives to guarantee passage of his proposal to raise the debt ceiling, and as a result, these democratic sources are saying the speaker has postponed the vote a little bit, trying to rally some of that support, some of those reluctant house republicans to vote in favor of this legislation. the vote was supposed to take place a little while ago. that information is coming from democratic sources. we're going to check with republican sources right now to see if that's 100% accurate that the speaker has asked for a delight delay because he doesn't believe he necessarily has the 216 votes ready to go, we did get a statement from the democrat ecwhip saying there's been a post pontment of the leadership vote. if, when all is said and done, if the speaker failsing to this
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legislation passed. that would be a huge embarrassment for the speaker, a huge embarrassment for his leadership, so we're watching this closely. in the meantime, as we await clarification of what is going on, here is part 2 of my interview i taped at the white house earlier today with the chief of staff, bill daley. >> what's wrong with a balanced-budget amendment? >> i think the bald-budget amendment that the house of representatives passed and failed in the senate would be draconian cuts in a very short period that would be imposed without nets revenue piece that would impose harm to the economy, and fundamentally changing the contract with many of the seniors in this nation.
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if that's going to happen, the congress ought to do that. that's what they get elected to do. they could do that now. they don't need the balanced-budget -- but the cut, balance and whatever it was -- >> cut, cap and balance. >> pardon me. would cause such a level of cuts to the that would be very damaging. have they started contingency planning to write checks after august 2nd, who would and wouldn't get a check? >> the treasury department is in the process of finalizing their plans action and they will release that at a point when they think that's appropriate. >> when will that happen? >> i'll leave that to the secretary. >> by tuesday? >> obviously by tuesday. >> but then 40% of the checks won't go out? >> the treasury department will lay out exactly how that would
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work at a certain point between now and tuesday, obviously, but we are optimistic. the for you leaders of the congress have said the debt ceiling will be extended. we are confident they will come together. the stock market has dropped over the last four days like 3%. real people are losing money they're losing money while congress is dalis. >> but even a band-aid and get through the immediate coven, the aaa credit rating could still be reduced. what would be the repercussions of that? you used to work for a bank. >> higher interest rates, an action that happened that's never happened in the history of the country, so when investors are looking at u.s. securities,
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they would have a serious question. every one of these agencies that have looked at this talk about our political system as the problem right now, and i think it's unfortunate that we don't seem to be able to understand that the whole world is watching to see whether or not this reply cat system can begin to get back to the heart of it, and that is to try to compromise for the good of the american people. bottom line, you think there will about el a deal between now and tuesday somehow crafted, but you're not convinced necessarily that the aaa credit rating that the united states government has will remain aaa? >> no one can guarantee that, obviously. the rating agencies which make that judgment will look at this, and will look at what comes out of the this effort to see two things, one, whether or not we have a serious attempt that's
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going to affect the deficit and get this cloud of another vote off the table for at least 18 months -- it's not about the election, but trying to get the general economy a chance to get healthy. was it a blunder last december for the president not to accept the simpson bowles recommendation? >> not at all. you remember the republican members walked off -- >> not republican senators. >> the republican house members. >> some of the democratic house members didn't support it either action for other reasons. >> the reality is one of the reasons the president had any problems with that, the level of defense cuts in a short period he thought were not appropriate for the obligations which we have around the world. short-term cuts in defense would have been in his mind just not justified. >> good luck. we're counting on you. >> we're counting on all of us
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to pull together and make sure the system gets back to what the american people believe in. >> we hope you make it. >> thanks, wolf. take care. we just heard from bill daley. in the next hour we'll get a different per spect frif, from senator john inbarasso. we've been doing some digging, and we'll tell you what we're finding. we're monitoring events on the floor of the house of representatives right now. we're expecting a key vote to raise the debt ceiling. nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, speaking right now.
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authorities have i rested a muslim american soldier who they say was planning to attack. lisa sylvester, what's going on? >> please say naser jason abdo is admitting he wanted to attack fellow soldiers. abdo had gone awol this year after facing a possible court-martial to allegedly possessing child pornography, and earlier he refused to deploy to afghanistan, and requested to be discharged as a consequence unityius objector. ten childrener said to be among the dead and 37 people were reportedly wounded. at last report they have driven the militants back, though sporadic fighting continues. the taliban are claiming
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responsibility. governor chris christie is expected to head home this evening. he was reportedly experiencing shortness of breath. according to a statement from his office, hi bent to the hospital out of, quote, an abundance of caution. he will be back at work tomorrow. a new government report projects the government will pay for half of all health care costs by 2020, up from 44% two years ago. the shift is attributed to rising health care costs and last year's health care reform that will give millions more access. costs are expected to reach 4.3 trillion annually or almost $14,000 per person, that's what it works out to. >> thanks, lisa. republican hardliners telling washington it doesn't know how to manage the country's
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money. now they're being forced to answer questions about their own financial troubles. and rick perry, amending some controversial comments on gay marriage. did he do it to satisfy his political base? [ jasmine ] i want to be a pediatrician so i want to major in biology. miss gopie is the best teacher i ever had. she's amazing, i love her. [ jade ] i'm teaching jasmine ap biology. i knew she had the talent... i always pushed her. [ jasmine ] her class you literally have to think,
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all right. we want to go right to capitol hill. our correspondent kate bolduan is standing by. we've been reporting, according to democratic sources, a statement put out by the democratic whip, that members have been advised that the house republican leadership has postponed -- postponed this critical vote on extending and raising the debt ceiling. what are you hearing on the hill? what's going on? >> here's what we're hearing. it does appear they are delaying the vote, but we do not know yet how long they are delaying the vote. several republican aides assure us they will still be voting on boehner's bill this evening. what we do know is the original schedule included after this general debate, after that wrapped up, they would be moving
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to vote on this bill. well, they have stopped that debate and began to debate a separate, unrelated bill. what that is an indication of, wolf, they appear to be having problems, that they were still working to rally the votes and get people on board to support this piece of legislation. we've been outside the speaker's office, seeing members going in and out. we even saw the whip, the man in charge of counting the vote and making sure they've got the votes. he was walking into the speaker's office saying, of course they have work to do. so this is an indication right now, since they have delayed this vote, they appear to be having problems in getting enough votes in their party in line, wolf, to support this legislation put forth by house speaker john boehner. we are assured they'll have the vote this evening, it seems they're working on getting the
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support at this time. wolf? >> it sounds like it's already at least a modest embarrassment to the speaker if he's got to postpone it a bit in order to work the room, if you will, make sure they have the 216 votes, enough republicans to pass it, because, as you say, usually the house is very disciplined, unlike the senate. when they say there's two hours of debate followed by a vote, the speaker, whether a democrat or republican, they know for sure they have enough votes to pass it. here, apparently, the speaker is not confident, at least 100% confident, that this measure would have 216 votes. that's what i'm hearing. is that right? >> this is what we know, as this bill is moving -- it was not a surefire -- they were working hard for days to get behind them to line up to vote.
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conservatives have had issues that this bill did not go far enough for them to support, but still this is at least an indication of just how close they already indicated this would be, but just how close this could be and just how serious people are taking -- how serious of a vote this is in terms of the end game, the past forward. as i said, to remind our viewer, they are still working to get the votes. it appears as if they have delayed moving toward this legislation. they stopped debate on this bill, wolf, and they have now begun debate on a separate, unrelated bill. that's an indication that they are not moving forward, at least at the moment, until they it work this out. >> i think it's fair to say based on legislative history there will not be a vote unless the speaker is 100% sure he has the 216 votes needed to pass, that he's not going to allow a roll call, if you will. because if it didn't pass, that would be a huge, huge
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embarrassment for him. stand by. we're going to take a quick break. much more coming up, right after this.
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all right. we have breaking news we're following on the floor of the house of representatives. apparently the republicans don't have enough votes yet to ensure the 216 needed to pass speaker john boehner's proposal to raise the debt ceiling, so they postponed at least for now the vote. we're watching it very, very closely. stand by, as we go back to the house floor. with only four days left to solve the crisis, some in washington are beginning to feel the pain. let's britain in brian todd. what is going on? >> the debate got hotter, and the republicans railing against compromise have been very vocal, but there are questions about whether those who want to hold the line hold themselves to the same standard. they're the firebrand class, deficit hawks in congress some are tea party favts who rail at
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congress for past spending like mike lee of utah. >> congress for decades has been bearing our children and our grandchildren under a mountain of debt. but according to recent disclosure forms, senator lee has racked up personal debt, at least $65,000 from a credit card and line of credit. the forms released last month show there are a few republicans demanding a hard line on cutting the nation's debt, but have plenty of debt on their own. taxpayers for common sense. >> i think this raises questions about are you walking the walk? >> reporter: senator lee's argument, you have to put this in context. an aide said the senator couldn't do an interview, but the aide pushed hard, saying the senator has his finances in order, is managing his debt responsibly, and if he's doing that, who are the critics to question his role. tea party supported republican congress mast joe walsh has played a prominent role in that
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debate. >> thank god congressmen like me were here. step back and imagine. this city would have raised the debt limit who knows how much. >> but walsh's ex-wife says he needs to pak up, more than $117,000 in child support, we couldn't reach walsh's attorney, but he toll the times walsh doesn't owe that amount. the attacks against him are false and also says this. >> i have had financial troubles and i talked about them throughout the campaign. >> no evidence that there is any financial impropriety. what is wrong with him incurring debt? >> they are allowed to incur debt, but we are also allowed to ask questions. if you choose to incur personal debt and that's how you manage your finances, how can you tell the country we can't manage our
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debt. >> two congress men who recently said america has a spenting addiction and said washington needs to cut up their credit cards and each had debt of at least $15,000 as of late last year. we contacted the office was and they didn't respond. >> several republicans have student loans, but that is different. >> a lot of them have it. for instance the tea party senator from florida, he racked up $100,000 in student loan. that's a mechanism that millions of americans use to pay for college expenses. he said rubio is the son of two working class parent who is couldn't afford it and he paid off at least $80,000 of debt and never misses a payment. they said it's absurd to criticize for that and you have to agree on that front. >> thank fist for that report. we are watching breaking news on the floor of the house of
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representatives. the vote has been laid because the republican leaders don't have what's needed to pass speaker boehner's proposal. they are on to other business as they try to round up that support. we are all over that story. wall street is warning washington to get its act together now. we are taking a closer look at big business concerns about the debt crisis. what are the president's options for acting on his own if there is no deal on raising the debt ceiling. stay with us. dramatic developments unfolding in washington. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds, not just one. that's why the network that connects, protects, and lets your data move fearlessly through the clouds means more than ever.
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breaking news on the house
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of the representatives. postponement of the legislation that the speaker wants to put forward to raise the nation's debt ceiling. let's bring in the a assistant of the party of new york. you are a freshman. tell us what's going on right now. is it accurate to say that the speaker is not guaranteed yet that he has the 216 votes needed to ensure passage? >> wolf, my title is probably freshman. it is my impression that we have been building that we need to pass the budget control act in the house. >> you are not guaranteed and you have this delay? >> there is a delay and the reason is not stated. >> normally under these circumstances that i covered for a long time whether a democratic or republican speaker, they don't have a vote unless they are ensured their party will
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win. if they are not guaranteed that, the speaker is not going to be humiliated and embarrassed by defeat. that would be the logical explanation. based on the years that i have covered washington. tell us what other explaination there could be. >> wolf, this is the sort of day in which an hour can seem like five. i imagine that's not the only potential explanation, but it's certainly true that we have had a certain number of members who have had a lot of deep thinking to do about their yes votes. it could be that we are confirming the last few and it wouldn't sound as if given what we have been doing and hearing among each other for the last day or so, it would be more than that. i certainly know that whatever happens, the speaker will be conducting himself with not only honorably, but with integrity
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and the knowledge that our conference does have great confidence in him. >> we will stay in touch with you and you will update us when we get more information. appreciate it very much. thanks for coming in. let's go back to jack for the cafferty file. a lot of drama. >> it's pathetic. the question this hour is who is winning the debt ceiling battle. the answer is we are losing. republicans are winning due to they this attics. they manage to use it as a partisan bargaining chip when it would be proactive to raise it and bargain. republicans make it appear as if they are waiting on president obama. treating him like a fellow congressman instead of the president, they made it seem like raising the debt ceiling is only a democrat would do. they won the battle, but might lose the war in 2012. >> kim writes there is no winner here. what nerve to screen cut spending when the republican party was handed the baton, a
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balanced budget and a surplus. they handed w the keys to the oval office. i wouldn't dream it possible to drive this country into a humiliating pit of greed and ve session in a short period of time. winners of big oil and fat cat ceos. big losers, average american middle class citizens. bill in illinois, obama is winning. the tea party is a medicine that is worse than the disease. they deserve nearly total credit for causing sharper focus on rin away spending, but they must be thrown out in 2012 if they don't back off. we have so many other priorities that require our attention. paul writes tough to find a winner, but i would say the senate is looking the best as they have as a whole shown to be the most willing to work together. saying above the childest fray a little better than the other two have. david in mississippi. i know who is losing.
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america. i love this country and understand the situation we are in. i make well below the $250,000 for a fax increase, but if may taxes need to be raised to get oust this mess, raise all taxes and put the money towards the debt only. politicians, hands off. you want to read more, it's on my blog. wolf? >> thanks, jack. to our viewers, you are in "the situation room" happening now. breaking news. with america four days away from default, a vote has been delayed in the house on a bitterly contested republican plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling as the senate is poised to immediately reject it if it were to pass. if divided lawmakers can't reach agreement, the president may have very unorthodox options to try to bypass congress. would you believe minting a couple of trillion dollar coins? with social security and
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medicare on the chopping block, senior citizens are scare and they are speaking out. we want to welcome our viewers. i'm wolf blitzer and you are in "the situation room." it's been a huge struggle from the start. the house speaker john boehner trying to gather enough support in his own party for a plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling. now house republicans have delayed a vote on the plan. let's go straight to the correspondent on capitol hill. what a surprise this is, kate. few were expecting such a delay. that means the speaker is not guaranteed of votes. >> we knew the margin of error could be thin if the speaker was not going to get votes. just to show how close this is coming and down to the wire it
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is coming, we know that the house has delayed or postponed the vote on house speaker john boehner's bill. for how long, we don't know yet. we are trying to work it out as we speak. we know it happened and how this is unfolded before us. the debate of the bill was happening and after that debate, it would have in regular order moved to vote on this bill. before that happened, they stopped debate on this bill and house speaker's bill and moved on to an unrelated debate on an unrelated bill. this is an indication that they don't -- it appears i will have to be careful with my language, but it appears they are still working to try to secure these votes at this late hour. we have been seeing members going in and out of house speaker john boehner's office. i spoke with a member and he said that he is still a no vote and he was not convinced to switching over to be a yes vote. they asked him for his vote.
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you can see they are very close. they are working very hard to secure the votes. it appears at the moment they were having a problem doing that. we will have to see and we are continuing to check when if this evening when that vote will actually come up. >> it's already an embarrassment to a certain degree. the president has stepped out of the spotlight for now while the debt crisis drama plays out. i have an exclusive look inside the white house today. when i spoke with the white house chief of staff, i asked him about the president's contacts with congressional leaders. >> when the president is speaking to people on the hill, is he speak to the speaker of the house? >> the truth is that it looks as though the speaker is engaged in putting together his bill and getting the votes for his bill. when that's put aside after it is passed in the house and then defeated in the senate, i think
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there will be a whole new stage of the senate and house having to come together to avoid august 2nd as the day that has never happened in the u.s. a day where we wouldn't back up the full faith in credit in the united states. >> let's go to the white house. jessica yellen is standing by. he is confident, the chief of staff, that in the end there will be a deal. how do you get to tuesday when the deadline occurs, what are they thinking at the white house? how they managed to avoid potentially default? >> the best scenario for the white house is to get past the vote in the house. let this boehner bill happen and then move on to a sort of compromise agreement between the senators in the senate. this is the ideal scenario for them. they agreed to some sort of negotiation where they have a second vote on the debt ceiling
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and you don't have to have this deadlocked confrontation to get over the debt ceiling in a few months. send this back to the house of representatives over the weekend and get it voted on before tuesday. will that happen? who knows. that's sort of a best case scenario and we can't count on it. we will make another point if i could. if the boehner bill fails, that creates a new challenge for the white house. it weakens speaker boehner. they don't want him weakened. he wants to deliver his conference to vote for whatever debt ceiling bill gets to the house before tuesday. >> for the speaker doesn't have the cloud to get his own legislation, you make a good point. if the speaker doesn't have the cloud to ensure that the republicans are on board with his plan, something that is not going to be as nice to them that could emerge from a conference with the democratic majority in the senate. that will even be more difficult for the speaker to bring his own
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team on board. stand by. i want you to stay with us. gloria is here. what a mess, gloria. this was not expected that there would be this postponement and delay. the speaker is not ensured he has the 216 votes needed for passage. >> i spoke with the leadership aide to a democrat in the house who said look, i think the speaker is just trying to lasso the last couple of votes. i think they expect that the vote will take place and the democrats, it's interesting they are saying they expect it to pass. so what happens? say it does pass tonight. it goes to the senate and harry reid tables it and i was told that the democrats couldn't necessarily bring up harry reid's version and set an ultimatum and say to republicans, we will give you x amount of time and a narrow window. let's see if we can work it out. if we can't, we will pass our version of the bill.
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then we are nowhere. >> adding to that, i spoke to a leadership aide to a republican, a high ranking republican on capitol hill and told me exactly the same thing. looking at it tonight, we expect to go forward with the vote tonight. they are trying to wrangle. >> did she suggest it would be an hour or hours from now? >> did not give me a specific time. remember two days ago, we were expecting a vote and we were just back stage talking about the medicare reform vote. there have been a lot of votes. over the recent history of the congress, they have stretched it out hours and hours and hours. >> they don't have a lot of time. >> we are talking about the prescriptions. yeah, they don't have a lot of time. >> it's getting crazy.
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mary and donna are joining us. mary, first to you. this is already an embarrassment to the speaker that he had to postpone the vote because he is not 100% sure he has republican members on board. >> i don't think so, wolf. the house under his leadership passed a budget and it's the only real budget. the president doesn't have a budget and the house under boehner's leadership passed cut cap and balance. there is nothing comparable in the senate. the senate said everything that baner is sending is dead-on arrival. the president to this day and moment is idea to indicate one specific cut he would make. this is a big debate. even when we have this vote on the debt ceiling, it doesn't begin to solve the problem with spending and debt reform going forward. one vote. i am proud of baper for getting
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as far as he has gotten. >> you are our democratic strategist. is this an embarrassment? >> it's an embarrassment to the united states of america that we cannot get people to sit down and collaborate and compromise and come up with a solution. the republicans won this debate, this round of this debate. i will tell you why. both sides are talking about spending cuts. cuts that will alter our landscape forever. senior citizens, elderly, the disabled. veterans and others, it's time to come up with a deal that the american people will have to swallow hard and go ahead and pass this this weekend so that our dollar is not weakened. our interest rates will not go up. those are us with a little bit of money, we saw it sleep away yesterday. if we let this default happen, i don't care if you are tea party or independent or republican.
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it is stupid to put this country in this position. yes, i applaud him for getting us this far, but take us across the aisle right now and get the bill to pelosi. cut the deal and go to mr. reid and stop the games. >> jessica at the white house, no doubt that the only silver lining right now in my mind about this postponement is that it occurred after the stock markets closed on wall street. if this was going on at 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, you have to believe the markets would get really, really nervous. maybe they won't reach a deal by tuesday and there could be default when i spoke with the white house chief of staff earlier today at the white house, he was optimistic that there would be a deal by tuesday. you couldn't guarantee that the credit ratings would not reduce the aaa credit rating even with a deal. they are nervous over there at the white house.
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>> absolutely. senior democrats and policy makers are keeping their eye on the stock market. on the nation's credit rating. the president said he is talking to secretary geithner about the next plan. the treasury department is making steps to decide which bills will be paid and which won't. we have two major bills that go out. social security checks worth $30 billion that have to be sent out i think on tuesday or wednesday of next week and a major payment to bond holders. those are real things that have to be decided if this debt ceiling is not raised. what will we pay and what won't we pay. plus an auction in the middle of next week. if they decide to the to buy america, a major effect could happen in the economy that everyone in this town and nation has to be concerned about. >> pick up the thought that they made earlier.
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even with the differences, the democrats need a strong speaker to ensure passage of something in the house of representatives. >> they need a strong speaker, but you have to consider this. if you take it a couple steps down the road. say there is some compromise that is reached. the house speaker knows he will lose a lot of the republicans he is fighting to get today for this vote tonight. he is going to have to get democrats on board as well. you can presume that a lot of those republicans, will say no, i won't vote for the compromise. boehner and pelosi had to work together because she had to convince democrats to vote for a final compromise and he has to keep at least half. >> that might be easier than getting the supporters of the tea party movement in the republican party to bring in a bunch of democrats and you really have a bipartisan piece
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of legislation. >> absolutely and the one thing you are hearing is people talking about triggers again. this is something that democrats want. there is so much angst over this bill that the speaker put forward and the way he actually has a two-step process. democrats are talking about a trigger and that's something he could vote for and that's coming back into the conversation so that you can get more democratic votes. >> is it fair to say as some suggested that the republicans created an element and getting all the program elected that they really can't be controlled under normal circumstances in the house of representatives. >> it's irrelevant. it's not the house of representatives. governors and state representatives across the country and every state and in
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previous senate races and future federal senate races, the 2012 races, people have been sending the message for two years. stop spending. cut programs. stop spending our money on programs that are not working. it's bigger than this. we are hyper focused on the debt ceiling, but not that the republicans need -- no one is worried about john boehner's cloud or control of a chamber. if this is not a significant and real and spending cuts and spending reform attached to raising the debt ceiling, there will be equal chaos with the markets and equal in the next election. that's what people have been saying for three cycles. >> it's fair to say at least for now, none of these proposals, the boehner and the harry reid proposal and tacks and increased revenue. no tax reform. the democrats have given up on
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higher taxes for wealthier americans or big business. >> we are going to live to fight that battle another day and i hope the president will lead that charge. wolf, the federal government will take in about $170 bill yorn next month. we owe about 300 billion. this is about paying our bills. this is why many of us were worried. $5 billion is to the nation's veterans and those serving on the battlefield, i can talk about senior citizens. my father keeps saying the eagle lands. it's talking about his check he receives. this is how they pay their rent and the utilities and how they buy medicine and survive. we owe it to every american who will get a check, including our federal employees to pay their bills on time next week. these games and the brinkmanship. i'm over it and sick of it.
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it is just unbearable. go to former speaker pelosi and cut the deal and collaborate. we can talk about tea party and obama reelection, but pay the bills so that our nation's seniors and military will be able to pay their rent and buy their medicine on monday. >> don't go too far away. the breaking news is continuing. we are told by our reporters and producers up on capitol hill that republican members that were inclined to vote against the speaker's plan have been seen coming out of this office so the arm twist suggest going on right now. what options does president obama have if a debt deal is not reached in time? we are taking a look at ideas that are being floated from the extreme to the totally outrageous. we will meet one man trying to motivate lawmakers to reach a
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the general feeling about the economy has not been good for a long time now. this charade on capitol hill over raising the debt ceiling is only making americans more nervous. not just about the state of their own house holes, but the future of the u.s. economy as a whole. unemployment at 9.2% and not improving any time soon. with all the uncertainty, companies not rushing to ramp up the hiring. wait and see is the prevailing game plan. uncertainty is business investment's worst enemy. home prices down 4.5% from a year ago and a housing crisis that may not be over for years.
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bad news for a seller means good news for a buyer, but not now. if you are lucky enough to get a mortgage, rates are starting to rise in the short-term market and if the u.s. defaults, interest rates will rise faster and higher than any of us expect they might. investments, don't be optimistic about that either. if lawmakers don't raise the debt ceiling, the stock market can drop 30% in six months to a year. that's according to a report out today from credit suisse. polls have shown americans are growing concerned with our economy and the number of americans feeling this way is on the rise. nearly 3 cingul/4 of of america the economy is getting worse. in a separate poll nearly 6-10
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americans say the economy will be in poorer shape a year from now. in washington these pathetic games just go on and on and on. we are waiting to see if the house passes something that is going into a waist basket when it gets there. here's the question. what's your view of the current state of the u.s. economy. go to cnn.com and post a comment on my blog. i feel like we are living in a parallel universe of some kind. >> dot right here thing in washington will be enormous. >> they haven't done doing the right thing for months. this didn't happen yesterday. they know the train is coming down the tracks. this is pathetic and absurd. >> can president obama find a way to bypass congress if america starts running out of money on tuesday?
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there some suggestions getting floated. let's go to mary snow who has been looking at the ideas for us. what did you find? >> we have been talking about the 14th amendment, but as the deadline approaches with no deal, other scenarios are examined. include with minting a coin. it speaks to the nervousness as the deadline draws closer. >> t minus four days until the government can no longer borrow money if congress doesn't reach an agreement, is there a plan b for president obama to raise money? under the category of desperate times calling for desperate measures, there is some talk of issuing two $1 trillion coins y. coins? constitutional law expert said there is a statutory limit on the amount of paper currency
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that can be in circulation. not on coins. it's an idea he calls science fiction. >> what it underscores is that people are now trying to investigate different ways of resolving an artificially created crisis. i think the problem is that the solutions have been offered precisely because the situation we have been put in is absurd. >> an option for the president that is taken more seriously is the idea of him invoking a clause in the 14th amendment raising the authorization. >> i have talked to my lawyers and they do not -- they are not persuaded that that is a winning argument. >> way to raise money is to sell assets. gold at record highs is one of the assets. >> there is no likelihood of
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that at all. if the united states government were to announce they were going to sell gold, the price of gold, you would be out of the way of that price. >> jay powell was under the way under president bush. he has been separating back from fiction even getting asked if they issue ious. >> no secret bag of tricks and no magic bullet that will allow us to avoid defaulting on the non-debt-related payments. >> bottom line, jay powell said there is nothing the executive branch with do in the absence of a deal. wolf? >> thanks very much. if the debt battle is leaving a bad taste in your mouth, this man has just the thing to take it away. ice cream. he was handing it out on the mall here. free to everyone.
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to everyone except lawmakers. there he is. he hopes the frozen treats will be an incentive to them to reach a debt deal. >> thank you. >> everybody qualifies to get a free ice cream. democrats, republicans, libertarians, tea party people, everybody. the only people that do not qualify are those people working up there on the hill. my thinking is when they look out the window approximate see the fun that everybody is having and they are not part of it and they don't qualify, they will say folks, isn't it time we compromise a little? >> thanks very much. a good idea. delicious ice cream at the same time. big business leaders are growing nervous about this looming government default. we have details of their warning to to congress. it would have been another massacre. we are learning more about the arrest of a soldier and what he may have been planning.
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>> big business worried and the possible default. wall street is warning washington right now, you better get your act together. let's bring in lisa sylvester. lossa? >> we haven't seen a major sell off yet, but the markets are losing ground. the s&p and dow jones. the business community said yes, debt is too high and needs to be addressed. what's a priority now they say is raising the debt ceiling. with the clock kicking, it's starting to get nervous. the firms with bank of america and goldman sacks and jpmorgan chase and others sent a letter to congress and the white house, urging them to hurry up and warning of the grave consequences of inaction. robert nichols is ceo of the financial services forum. >> if borrowing costs go up, people who have loans for education and auto is their house are more expensive. as borrowing costs go up all
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across the u.s. economy, that will erode growth and equate to less jobs. >> the dow jones industrial average had five consecutive declines. the dollar has been losing ground against all of the major trading partners and home mortgage rates are starting to creep up. the possibility of a u.s. credit downgrade is not good for business. good year's chairman and ceo said concerns over prevailing issues were having a discernible impact among customers. >> we need a balanced plan that reduce the deficits and brings down our national debt.
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>> we are starting to see companies build up their cash reserves. we are starting to see companies trying to access more lines of credit. keep in mind that it isn't debt that puts companies out of business, but the lack of cash and liquidity. they will pass an increase way or the other. marks don't like uncertainty. there is a lot of uncertainty going around. analysts say if we see a drop in the stock market, that would be really bad. but stocks go up and they go down. experts say they will put the breaks on the economy if interest rates go up, they tend to stay there and it takes a lot longer to bring interest rates back down. >> the stakes are enormous. wall street obviously nervous, did does that make wall street
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nervous about the risk of a debt crisis? let's go to john from wyoming joining us live. senator, thanks for coming in. >> thank you for having me. you willing to compromise with the democrats to avert a potential default on tuesday? >> my bottom line is we actually need to prevent a default and cut the spending. those are the problems. the bottom line for the president is different. he said the only thing that is his bottom line is raising the debt ceiling beyond the next election. i think you ought to be focused on today's issues. the jobs and the economy and the debt and spending. >> they don't want to put the country through this ordeal again innics months or months. you understand that, right? >> i know that the president wants to take the eyes of america off of the economy and the lack of jobs and the 9.2% unemployment that we have. for the times they raised the debt ceiling, it's about every
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eight months. the president is asking for the largest increase ever and for one of the longest periods of time. >> we are going broke and not just the debt ceiling. the $14 trillion debt. the interest rates go up. >> it may be too late for the down great given what happened over the past several weeks. what do we know about what's happening. the house of representatives looks like the vote was supposed to be a half hour or so. the speaker does not have all the republicans in line to get the 216 votes needed to pass his ro proposal. is that what you are hearing? >> i was on the senate floor speak being this issue and they are going to have a vote tonight and i believe it will pass the vote. we can prevent a default and at
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the same time actually cut spending. that's the key that we don't need to raise taxes. we need to cut spending. i don't think you balance the budget by raising taxes when it's 9.2% unemployment. we ought to be focused on getting people back to work. we have to pass the proposal and get it to the senate and pass it there. he goes on television and a veto threat. the president doesn't have his own plan. he ought to be leading. >> even if the proposal passes the house, it doesn't have the votes to even come up for a serious vote. they vote with the democrats and a few republicans are saying they will vote to table the resolution. what do do you next after the boehner proposal goes down. the harry reid proposal does not include any tax increases. >> the only thing that can pass
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the house is the boehner plan. >> can pass the house, but what about the senate? >> you get it to the senate and the president needs to show leadership and say pass it. it's the only thing that made it through the house and can still get through the senate in time to avoid a default before august 2nd. for the president, if he wants to stay fixated on trying to raise the debt ceiling to get him beyond his reelection effort in 2012, he should not be putting his reelection ahead of the country. he ought to be focused on the country and working with everyone else to avoid default. >> harry reid, the leader said the boehner proposal is dead-on arrival in the senate. white house officials say they will recommend to the president even it it were to pass and it doesn't look like it will, he will veto it. to avert the disasters in wyoming did around the country. so many people watching around the world if in fact the u.s. government defaults on the
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payments. >> the people of wyoming don't want to default and i don't want to. there is a way to avoid it by adopting the boehner proposal and have harry reid say to his members we need to pass this because it's the only way we avoid default and have the president show leadership. the "new york times" today said the president is on the sidelines. the period needs to get in the game and show leadership and say i'm going to put the country first and avoid the default and endorse and sign into law the boehner approach. >> the republican senator from wyoming, i appreciate it. >> paul ryan and the congressman from wisconsin walked into the whip's office and was overheard saying i think it's coming to say i don't need a vote. we will see what happens. i don't think the speaker would allow a vote to come up unless he was assures he would have the
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votes necessary to pass it. it would be a huge embarrassnt for his republican leadership. we are staying on top of the story and not going away too far. other important news including a plot to attack ft. hood in texas. a muslim american army planned to attack fellow soldiers and had the bomb material to do it. there was a 93% increase in cyber attacks. in financial transactions... on devices... in social interactions... and applications in the cloud. some companies are worried. some, not so much. thanks to a network that secures it all and knows what to keep in, and what to keep out. outsmart the threats. see how at cisco.com cisco. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp...
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>>. >> the scene of a shooting rampage by a muslim american soldier that left 13 people dead. now another muslim soldier has been arrested, suspected of plotting an attack of ft. hood, texas. what are we learn being this young soldier. >> private first class once said his islamic faith prevented him from going to war and having to kill. apparently that feeling has
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changed. when he was arrested just outside the ft. hood army base in central texas, private first class had enough material in his hotel room to make two bombs military sources say. he planned to attack fellow soldiers. >> personnel were a target of this suspect. >> police found gunpowder, shotgun shells, a pressure cooker, 18 pounds of sugar to enhance an explosion and battery operated clocks to be used as a possible timer. it was a phone call from this gun shop that alerted police to his suspicious behavior. >> he selected six canisters of gunpowder. he placed them on the counter and then asked the manager what is smokeless powder? if you don't know what it is, why in the world would you buy that much? >> he was awol from ft.
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campbell, kentucky after being told he would face court-martial for child pornography. he gained attention because he won the case to be a conscientious objector. in an interview he said as a muslim he didn't want to go to war. >> i have come to the conclusion that the consequences i would face of refusing deployment are less than what i would face should i go. >> ft. hood faced violence from the army's own. hasan is charged in the shooting that killed 13 and injured more than 30. both hasan and abdo went to the same gun store. this time police were able to stop any potential attack. >> we would be here oeds getting a different briefing had he not been stopped. >> law enforcement officials say there were jihadist literature found in his backpack, but they believe he was acting alone. >> we will stay on top of the
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story. thank you. >> the high gas prices we have been paying in the united states are fueling massive profits for oil companies. we have details of the latest report. ♪ my only sunshine ♪ you makes me happy ♪ when skies are grey ♪ you'll never know, dear ♪ how much i love you ♪ please don't take my sunshine away ♪ [ male announcer ] as long as there are babies, they'll be chevy's to bring them home. ♪ an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual insurance,
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huge profits for big oil. lisa sylvester has that and more right now. lots of big numbers. >> there. high gas prices helped push the second quarter profit to $10.7 billion. that is up 41% from the previous year. the company also topped revenue estimates, but the earnings per share fell short of what analysts were predicting. that pushes stock down about 2%
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today. health care costs in the united states will almost double by 2020 with washington footing half the bill. that's the finding of the government report that forecasts total spending to skyrocket from $2.6 trillion to $4.6 trillion. it estimates health care will ex-pant to $30 million more people by 2020. a date has been set for the trial of mubarak for next wednesday. facing charges of corruption and ordering the killings of anti-government protesters. if he is convicted, the ailing 83-year-old could get the death penal penalty. the trial will be open to the public and shown on state television. these brothers are charged with attacking an american airlines pilot at the miami airport. police say the one on the right was suspected of being intoxicate and asked to get off a san francisco-bound flight. his brother luis left the plane
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with him, but jonathan came back on the plane and started punching the pilot in the face and both men chased the pilot into the terminal and continued to beat him. what has the world come to. >> terrible. thanks very much. we are following the breaking news in the house of representatives right now. the vote was supposed to take place at least 45 minutes or so ago, but guess what. there has been no vote because the speaker is not guaranteed the necessary 216 votes needed for passage of this proposal. his legislation would raise the nation's debt ceiling. the house has gone into recess right now. there you can see the house is in recess subject to the call of the chair. boehner we are told they are trying to get some republican members in line, but right now it's problematic to get that
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majority needed. much more on the deadlock coming up and the efforts to do something about it. john king for our north american viewers is up on capitol hill. he will have the latest coming up at the top of the hour. we will have much more after this. maybe, it's something you haven't seen yet. the 2nd generation of intel core processors. this is visibly smart.
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let's check back with jack for "the cafferty file." jack? >> the question this hour, wolf, what's your view of the current state of the u.s. economy as all of this goes in the nation's capital? paul writes in economic policy continues to be held hostage by a minority group, things look decidedly grim indeed, it's obvious that changes need to be way in the way tax money is spent. the status quo is all we'll get and we know where that leads. tom in michigan, i believe it's a failed economy that's pandered to the wealthy and corporate interests and continues to do so. too few control the wealth and the world. congress is manipulated, washington is bought and paid for, insurance companies and banks own the world. big business is greed infested and people are apathetic. brian in illinois writes, i thought the economy was recovering, jack. dow was up.
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financial markets stabilizing. the auto industries were paying back their loans, and the job numbers were improving. unfortunately, with this tea party-inflicted wound, the economy's headed off the cliff again. tom in virginia writes, the media reminds me daily the u.s. economy's in trouble. i'm not convinced. my grown kids have jobs and homes, albeit not necessarily the jobs or homes they envisioned during their formative years. the current economy is more like a dose of tough love, balancing choices between wants and needs. and finally randy writes, a fitting question looking at "parade" magazine's what earn, $30 million, and is there any doubt that the country has lost its collective mind regarding economics and how a successful
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economy works. if you want to read more, you'll find oit it on my blog. wolf? >> thank you. we'll take a quick break and we right back. ♪ ♪ look at that car, well, it goes fast ♪ ♪ givin' my dad a heart attack ♪ [ friend ] that is so awesome. ♪ i love my car [ engine revving ] [ male announcer ] that first chevy, yea, it gets under your skin. ♪ something that was drilled in me early on, you know, college is the place for you. it's my number one goal. ♪ students like me, who take these ap math and science classes and have these opportunities, this is where the american dream lies. when i write that book, you know, i plan to dedicate it to my school. ♪ those hopes and dreams that you have, you know, they're within reach. and i'm living proof.
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[ female announcer ] sweet honey taste. 80 calories per serving. 40% daily value of fiber. i'm here in the downtown area where the crowd is growing. [ female announcer ] watching calories at breakfast never tasted this sweet... i'll go get my bowl. [ female announcer ] ...or this huge. new fiber one 80 calories. yes, you can actually love breakfast.
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some pool are seeking disigns in an unlikely place. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: do you see just overgrown vines on a telephone
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pole or does this look like the big operator in the sky? >> the figure of a -- oh, my goodness, jesus. jesus. >> reporter: does it look like -- >> jesus christ. >> reporter: yeah. often the jesus sightings require a lot of imagination, whether it be jesus on a moth or cheeto jesus. >> i don't think god makes cheetos that look like jesus. >> reporter: even the virgin mary on grilled cheese could arguably be madonna, but this telephone pole in littleton, colorado, strikes most people the same way. what do you see? >> god or jesus. >> jesus on a cross. >> jesus. >> reporter: what do you see? >> oh! >> reporter: folks pointed out what looks like a crown of thorns, the body's positioning. >> look at the legs, see, like, you know, he's, like -- yeah. >> down like this, he's like that. >> reporter: but while you might think a telephone pole jesus is pretty unique, it turns out he's
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not alone. vine-covered utility poles have been sprouting religious images all over the country. >> it looks like jesus hanging on the cross. >> reporter: from north to louisiana. >> it was a bunch of vines. >> reporter: this one in lake charles, louisiana, from last fall was said to be most striking when seen as you drove by. one local was quoted as saying you can't spray jesus with roundup. workers did cut down the vines. officials were worried believers would climb the pole to touch the greenery and get an electrifying jolt. now, if you're having trouble seeing jesus on telephone poles, maybe what you need is the jesus pan. it's supposed to put the image of jesus right on food. advertising for the jesus pan says, imagine serving heavenly hotcakes at the next church breakfast. they'll flip! of course, the image of jesus was much clearer when an episode of "glee" focused on the topic. >> i had made a

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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN July 28, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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